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Sound proofing rooms

davhudson

Member
Messages
175
Location
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Has anyone any information on sound proofing a practise room?

Currently I live in a detached house and can play as loud as I want, but there may come a time when I would like to move to an older edwardian style street house. One of the main things that is stopping me is the thought that I would have to turn the sound down a bit.
The houses I have in mind do have cellers.

So, over to you guys - sound proofing - is it a viable option?
 

Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
This subject has been covered in a previous thread, and as far as I can recall, there is no completely successful way of soundproofing, especially a saxophone.
Eggboxes stuck to the wall, mattresses, all been mentioned. It might improve the harmonics, but not contain the sound. I daresay you can reduce the sound waves, muffle them, but a dedicated complainer will detect you through a six foot thick wall of cotton wool!:w00t:
As was said on another thread, go and have a word with the neighbours and agree a suitable practice time etc, didn't do it myself, but if I had it would have probably prevented all the hassle I get now from one neighbour:(
Hey, you may move next door to some teenager who practices drums all day:)))
 

losaavedra

Member
Messages
392
Location
Rojales, Spain
Like Pee Dee said this subject has been touched on before, at least in a 'not upsetting the neighbours' sense, in ...

Neighbours stories..

Regarding cellars (and basements), if those either side have one too then the problem just moves down a floor as the walls that divide you from them will likely just be the same party walls as the house ... but 'lower'!

Here in Spain I'm just about to embark on a 'music room / studio' construction project, primarily for recording, where I'm more concerned about keeping external noise out than the noise I make in, particularly because our chickens recently increased in number and the cockerels among them insist on chatting to each other all day! Starting with a 6M by 5M space, the walls are already 14" thick (mostly rock) but will all be lined with plasterboard on battens, windows will be double glazed and the (concrete) floor will be re-laid to come up about 10" with all cable tubes embedded as I go along. The ceiling will be lined with echo-reducing material of some kind, but only to reduce the 'boominess'. Ventilation is a serious issue as I still need air to breath (!) but holes leading to the outside world allow noise to go in both directions. Security also an issue as I'm using an outbuilding separate from our main house. Big project, needs loads of planning!

General info on 'soundproofing' can be easily found on the net so that's probably a better place to start. My advice is that if you're already detached then stay put!
 
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MartinL

Member
Messages
378
Location
Bilston, United Kingdom.
Has anyone any information on sound proofing a practise room?

Currently I live in a detached house and can play as loud as I want, but there may come a time when I would like to move to an older edwardian style street house. One of the main things that is stopping me is the thought that I would have to turn the sound down a bit.
The houses I have in mind do have cellers.

So, over to you guys - sound proofing - is it a viable option?
Hi

I work in the printing industry and believe me, large presses are noisy, the area around a press is very effectively soundproofed with a material made up of a "sandwich" of insulating material between two sheets of perforated steel, overall about three inches thick. I am certain that a "booth" made from this would be very soundproof.

If you want to go to that much trouble,,:welldone
 

Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
Hi

I work in the printing industry and believe me, large presses are noisy, the area around a press is very effectively soundproofed with a material made up of a "sandwich" of insulating material between two sheets of perforated steel, overall about three inches thick. I am certain that a "booth" made from this would be very soundproof.

If you want to go to that much trouble,,:welldone
Nah, sod the neighbours!>:)
 

losaavedra

Member
Messages
392
Location
Rojales, Spain
Ventilators for a soundproof room can be found here. http://www.soundservice.co.uk/acoustic_vents.html

Jim.
Good link that, especially as also provides full technical spec! Intend to construct full width vent slot above main window packed with something sound (and insect!) inhibiting. Gracias.

Slightly different subject ... somewhere along the line the inside space will have one of those telephone box glass-topped singing booths constructed so that me and/or Mrs L can shout our vocals out without the toe-curling embarrassment (of 'someone' hearing!) that 'trying to get it right' causes at present.

Unfortunately I can get so carried away with these 'interesting' construction activities that I lose sight of the final objective, i.e. producing music. In our family its called 'fishing rod syndrome' after the time I spent months constructing fishing rods when I don't actually like fishing!

Anyway, I'm photo-recording all the stages of this 'studio' build, starting with the rubble filled area of a few weeks ago through to (I hope) eventually arriving at the finished job. I'll stick some links here for anyone interested!
 
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SLoB

Member
Messages
102
Location
Bishop's Stortford
Dave

Soundproofing buildings is a problemas sound is not easy to contain. The best way is to create a soundproof 'cube' within the building that is 'isolated' from the faric so that sound transference through the fabric cannot occur.

Converting cellars can be done, but it brings about other problems (damp, for one).

If you are serious about this in future let me know - I am a Building Surveyor.

SLoB
 
OP
davhudson

davhudson

Member
Messages
175
Location
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Dave

Soundproofing buildings is a problemas sound is not easy to contain. The best way is to create a soundproof 'cube' within the building that is 'isolated' from the faric so that sound transference through the fabric cannot occur.

Converting cellars can be done, but it brings about other problems (damp, for one).

If you are serious about this in future let me know - I am a Building Surveyor.

SLoB
Thanks for that. Although I love the style of these old houses I must look at the practicalities and stay in a detached box I think.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
22,004
Location
Just north of Munich
Slob, I'm interested. Am just about to build a sound proof booth in my cellar.... Am considering materials - and am worried about many things, but not damp - germans build cellars to be lived in....
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
12,792
Location
McLean, Virginia
Slob, I'm interested. Am just about to build a sound proof booth in my cellar.... Am considering materials - and am worried about many things, but not damp - germans build cellars to be lived in....
Probably the main problem with a cellar id sound leaking out of the ceiling into the house above.

One way to help with sound insulating suspended ceilings is to

a) bung a few extra layers of plasterboard
b) put a layer of sand (edited) in the cavity beteween the ceiling and the floor above.

BUT, be careful, sand is heavy. Ideally a combination of extra plasterboard to hold the weight, and better to screw it to the joists rather than nail it. If in doubt consult a structural engineer, but two or three layers of plasterboard with an inch of sand on top will do wonders.
 

SLoB

Member
Messages
102
Location
Bishop's Stortford
Soundproofing relies mainly on density and completeness. On the matter of completeness if there is a c.10% gap about c.80-90% of the soundproofing benefit may be lost. For this reason many DIY attempts fail.

Sound can tansmit in various ways and any soundproof room must eliminate all forms of sound transference.

Pete's idea is good in principle, but not necessarily practical.

The soundproof 'booth' must be of sufficient density to keep sound in, must be isolated from surrounding material to stop transference through material, and must be complete with no gaps so that there is no direct or flanking sound. You could install a free-standing booth in a room or you could create a soundproof room.

For dividing floors/ceilings there are a number of products on the market some of which can be retro-fitted and some involve more or less reconstruction. Generally however you create a sandwich of a dense board with isolating mounts and then an accoustic insulant in all voids above with the floor above on an isolating layer (see attached sketch - simplified) to give you the idea.

The same principle applies to the floor and walls. Use dense materials but isolate them - rubber based materials can be good, but proprietary 'resilient bars' are now usually used together with accoustic mats. Use accoustic insulation to stuff ALL gaps to stop flanking sound. Don't forget to check floor voids to see if there are gaps in walls in hidden areas, gaps around pipes or cables, etc, etc.

If using concrete make sure the surface finish is sound absorbent otherwise it could become an echo chamber! In fact all surfaces in a soundproof area should be absorbent (e.g. put thick carpet on the floor and walls and ceiling if you cannot afford proprietary accoustic mats).

The above are just a few simple 'guides' but you could look at websites such as :
http://www.rockwool.co.uk/acoustic/introduction
where there is quite a bit of information.

The following sites may also help:
JCW Acoustic Supplies - Home
CMS Danskin Acoustics Refurbishment Division - CMS Danskin Acoustics
Soundproofing Solutions| Domestic Soundproofing | SRS

I hope the above gives some indication of what is involved to create a soundproof room.

Cellars can be a problem in that they are often damp (not in Germany however, or in other countries where cellars have to be habitable rooms). The damp can ruin some of the boards, etc used for sound proofing and over time the benefit will rot away! Other materials (some barriers, etc) are themselves damp proof and could create problems by diverting moisture and this can create problems eslewhere. Damp proofing cellars is a whole different subject. I have written articles and given lectures on it - so doubt you want boring on the subject now! :)

Generally it can be a lot of hassle and cost. Far better (and cheaper) to play when neighbours are out. :D

SLoB
 

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Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
Just go and stand next to your local skateboard park and practice all you like. My lovely parish council have installed a SB park within 60m of my garden and I no longer give a toss who I upset with my sax playing since the little prats on their silly wheeled boards make far more noise than I.

Of course, even I can't complete with the noise that will emanate from the little darlings when I ram their skateboards up their...where the sun don't shine!!


Councils!! Fruck 'em!

Moz
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
22,004
Location
Just north of Munich
Thanks, that's an interesting idea. But how do I put a layer of 'sound' between ceiling and plasterboard. Anything to do with Phil Spector's wall of sound? I suppose I could shoot it there. >:) (I'm winding you up, I know it was a typo for sand, but I couldn't resist, hope you don't mind...)

Actually I have to be careful for other reasons - I'm a tenant, not an owner. And the cellar ceiling is 6" of reinforced concrete. Some sound seems to come through the concrete. But I suspect most of the sound is going up though the window and up the stairs, probably after bouncing off the concrete walls. Biggest problem is my daughter - who can't sleep beacuse of the noise.



Probably the main problem with a cellar id sound leaking out of the ceiling into the house above.

One way to help with sound insulating suspended ceilings is to

a) bung a few extra layers of plasterboard
b) put a lyaer of sound in the cavity beteween the ceiling and the floor above.

BUT, be careful, sand is heavy. Ideally a combination of extra plasterboard to hold the weight, and better to screw it to the joists rather than nail it. If in doubt consult a structural engineer, but two or three layers of plasterboard with an inch of sand on top will do wonders.
 

SLoB

Member
Messages
102
Location
Bishop's Stortford
Oops Pete sorry

Had I realised there was a link to soundproofing on your main web site I would have linked to that as well.

Basically because sound proofing is now a major part of Building Regs there are loads of companies offering services.

S
 
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